A Texas man is dead after a police officer shot him several times during a traffic stop Thursday.
Video from the police department shows the suspect aiming a weapon at the officer before he pulled the trigger.
An eyewitness video shows an officer with his gun drawn; just-released body camera footage is much more dramatic.
It lasts just 10 seconds. At least 10 gunshots. And the driver of the white Nissan is dead.
Dash cam video shows the officer pursuing the car after it runs a stop sign. For six blocks, he doesn’t stop. Then he turns onto Spooner, opens the door, and steps out.
“His hand reaches down behind his back and then he produces a weapon, brings up, both hands in a shooting stance parallel to the ground pointing it at the officer,” explains Assistant Chief Josh Bruegger with Pasadena Police. “The officer immediately starts firing and strikes the suspect.”
The officer was not hurt, and investigators say they are not sure if the suspect actually fired his weapon.
But a man who saw the whole thing from his front yard says the suspect did shoot at the officer, and the officer had to protect himself.
“It’s unfortunate the officer is placed in the position, but when a suspect points a weapon directly at the officer, the officer really has no choice but to defend himself,” Bruegger said.
The 40-year-old officer, who has 13 years with the police department, will be on administrative leave as is standard with these kinds of shooting.
A Harris County grand jury will consider this video as well as other evidence to decide whether the officer did anything criminal.
“It appears to be justified to me,” Bruegger said.
The suspect has not been identified. Investigators found his gun next to his body.